Monday, 31 August 2009

Abbey Road revisited

This summer saw lots of media coverage for the anniversary of The Beatles' Abbey Road. All their albums became iconic and you can often gauge how much album art has been absorbed into popular culture by the number of parodies. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Simpsons, Booker T & the MG's, Lego, and many more have paid homage to Abbey Road.

In 1984 Pan Books published Pete Brown's account of his time with The Beatles. Gary Day-Ellison, then Creative Director for Pan, wanted the cover to show the exact spot with the band now missing. The record label would not permit the re-touching of the original sleeve. So one Sunday morning it was off to St.John's Wood with delightfully gentle photographer Peter Williams and a set of step ladders to shoot from scratch. With a very limited budget for models or props the were some Hitchcock cameos by Gary, Sandy Nightingale, Richard Moon, Creative Director of The British Council at the time, and his VW. We left the 'For Sale' sign in for Beatles' fans to spot.

The zebra crossing itself is an international pilgrimage destination for fans of The Fab Four braving the London traffic to get that souvenir shot of themselves on location.

Visually, we are quite taken by the wit of the tank on The Beatles Bike that puts the motorbike in Abbey Road wherever it is. A shame the airbrush artist went on to pepper (apologies) the machine with so many other references too. Neat tank though.

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